By UUSC Staff on August 24, 2021
In recent weeks, we’ve received calls from people around the country feeling distraught by the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and wanting to know how they can help people affected by the violence.
UUSC does not have grassroots partners in Afghanistan, and we are not taking the lead on responding to this issue. However, we know that our values call us to be in solidarity with people displaced by violence and injustice, particularly when our own U.S. government is implicated in the causes forcing people to flee.
We put together the following resources for people looking to express their solidarity with the people of Afghanistan. Here you can find other organizations to support who are on the front lines of responding to this crisis, as well as ways to volunteer your time to support Afghan refugees.
1. Reach out to your local refugee resettlement agency. There are a number of ways individuals and congregations can support refugee resettlement in their community. Reach out to your local Office of Refugee Resettlement to find out how you can provide support for children and families with refugee status.
2. Support organizations who have been working on the front lines of this issue for years, advocating for and providing legal services to Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants and refugees. Groups who have led the way on these issues include the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. Check out their websites to learn more about how to support their work.
3. Are you an attorney and/or JD? Volunteer to help Afghan families. Ellen Smith, the Executive Director of Keeping Our Promise, is seeking pro bono attorneys and JDs to support Afghan families navigating the humanitarian parole process. You can reach her at the following email address if you have legal qualifications and are able to assist: Ellen Smith: Ellen@keepingourpromise.org
4. Read and share UUSC’s organizational statement on the Afghan refugee crisis. Want to know UUSC’s stance on the current humanitarian crisis and how the U.S. government should respond? Check out the official statement from UUSC’s President and CEO Rev. Mary Katherine Morn and share it with your networks.
5. Advocate on social media. U.S. elected leaders need to hear that we expect them to do everything in their power to evacuate Afghan refugees to safety on U.S. soil, and that we have a historic obligation as a country to welcome them to our communities. You can Tweet at the President and Secretary of State @POTUS and @SecBlinken with hashtags including #AfghanEvac #EvacuateAfghans #GetThemtoGuam #SaveOurAllies #EvacuateOurAllies and more.
About UUSC: Guided by the belief that all people have inherent worth and dignity, UUSC advances human rights globally by partnering with affected communities who are confronting injustice, mobilizing to challenge oppressive systems, and inspiring and sustaining spiritually grounded activism for justice. We invite you to join us in this journey toward realizing a better future!
Image Credit: iStock – Kostas7